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Monday, 10 October 2016

Dry Firing - WHY Practice Makes Perfect: MYELIN:

We all know that practicing a skill repeatedly makes us better at that task.  - One story is that our bodies develop 'MUSCLE MEMORY' - Nah, it's really 'Neural Pathways'.

Of course - when you consider it, this muscle memory idea is daft - as our muscles are mostly 'meat' and don't retain memories - that job is done in the brain.


- However - you had better make sure that what you practice is the right way.  The above picture shows focus on the front sight. - If you practice this - you will DO this when shooting.. which is likely what you need to do.

When you practice anything by repetition - what actually happens is that neural pathways develop in your brain and nervous system which will help you to repeat that action.

When you repeatedly perform any action your brain recognizes that repetition as significant and responds by coating these special neural pathways with a fatty substance myelin that reinforces that circuit and helps the signals to travel faster - this results in incrementally faster and more reliable actions.

Practice well & practice often and you will reach a stage of  'Automation' where your brain will know what your body needs to do - before you consciously input the instructions.


- The next time you need to shoot for real - these myelinated smooth pathways act like sealed Expressways rather than bumpy dirt tracks - guiding your brains instructions through a circuit to your muscles - resulting in faster, accurate function.

Google says:
Myelin: a mixture of proteins and phospholipids forming a whitish insulating sheath around many nerve fibres, which increases the speed at which impulses are conducted.

Wikipedia says:
Myelin is a fatty white substance that surrounds the axon of some nerve cells, forming an electrically insulating layer. It is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is an outgrowth of a type of glial cell. The production of the myelin sheath is called myelination or myelinogenesis.

Anyone who practices carelessly, - lazily - when bored - is fixing poor performance levels and pathways into their head.

- When yesterdays 'old fashioned'  'has-been' school teachers made their students repeat their 'Times Tables' - over & over (and over) - They knew what they were doing - just watch how 'modern' young folk now have to reach for a calculator to work-out how much two items at $1.75 each costs.

Marty K.

"Children don't need to learn stuff anymore - all they need to know is how to find the answers." HAH.

P.S: - Now before we congratulate ourselves about our clever myelin smoothed neural pathways .... SQUID have got neural pathways too - except that theirs are around a thousand times bigger and quicker than ours. - A FISH!

M.K.